STATE COLLEGE – Former Michigan star Louis Bullock (1995-99) may have been erased from the Michigan record books for his involvement with Ed Martin, but freshman Daniel Horton still found a way to pass him up. With two 3-pointers in last night’s game, Horton broke Bullock’s record for most 3-pointers made in a season by a freshman. He now has 71, one better than Bullock’s 70 set in 1995-96.
“It’s a significant achievement for Daniel,” Tommy Amaker said. “But I think it also says a lot about our team. His teammates had a lot of confidence in him to find him for those shots.”
Horton, who struggled during the first few games of the season, first showed signs of his ability to drop bombs from the outside when he hit four against Bowling Green and finished with 26 points in Michigan’s first win.
Later in the season – while playing on CBS and in Los Angeles against UCLA – the freshman sank 7-of-10 from behind the arc and really made the nation aware of what he was capable of.
Since then, Horton’s 3-point shooting ability has been a significant, necessary threat for Michigan this season. And it’s not just his ability to make the shot that matters. The freshman, as Amaker has said over and over this season, is always ready to take the big shots, and that’s exactly the role the Wolverines want him to play.
“It means a lot to me to pass somebody like Louis Bullock,” Horton said. “He was a great shooter and a great player at this school, and hopefully I can continue to do what he did while playing here.”
10 wins: Michigan reached the 10-win plateau in conference play for the first time since the 1997-98 season, when it finished 11-5. If the Wolverines can win on Saturday, they can tie this mark. Even though 10 is not enough for the conference title, Amaker says it still holds special meaning.
“When you get 10 wins, I think it is a significant achievement,” Amaker said. “We’re very proud of that, and we’ve got a game to go. We feel that not many teams are able to reach that mark. You look around the country, and even in our league, to have 10 conference wins is a measuring stick for some success in your league.”
This is also the first time since 1997-98 that Michigan finished with four conference road wins.
Lights out: The Michigan offense is heating up, and was hotter last night than it has been all season long. The Wolverines shot 60 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from the behind the arc – both season highs. Five players also reached double figures for the first time since last season against Vermont on Jan. 26, 2002.
“We were able to find each other in transition and at the right times, and things were falling for us,” junior Bernard Robinson said. “We’re definitely at our best when everyone is getting into the act and doing little things out on the court. It’s very hard for any team to beat us.”
Injuries: LaVell Blanchard tweaked his ankle at the end of the first half last night. The senior, who had scored 13 points and was very hot from the floor prior to the injury, could not maintain the same level of movement out on the court, and sat out most of the second half.
“It’s a little sore, but you have to be ready,” Blanchard said.